“You’re such a manwhore.”
“We’re cut from the same cloth, brother,” Conn replies darkly, wiping the sweat collected on his forehead with his drenched shirt. Heading over to the free weights, Conn grabs a pair of fifty-pound dumbbells and begins his bicep curls. I grab the eighty-fives, laying down on the bench for chest presses.
“What about you?” he grunts, rapidly curling the weights up to his shoulders, alternating one after the other, muscles bulging with each stroke. “Haven’t bragged about any conquests lately. Why is that?” Conn looks down to where I’m lying and gives me a knowing wink.
Apparently my feigned nonchalance about a certain dark-haired, brown-eyed petite beauty who is consuming my every single waking thought is just that. Of course, my twin knows me better than anyone. I’ve not been this enthralled by a single woman since Natalie, and I don’t even think I was this way with her. That scares the fuck out of me.
“Fuck off. I entertained Gabriella recently.” And by recently, I mean more than a month ago, which is like a drought for me. I’m surprised my dick hasn’t fallen off for lack of use. But the problem is, the entire time I was inside another woman, I thought of Alyse’s caramel eyes glazing over with pure ecstasy as I pushed her body to the very limit. Christ, just thinking of the pleasure that would etch on her beautiful face as I force her to give me orgasm after orgasm gets me hard, which won’t go unnoticed by my brother, even in my baggy gym shorts.
If I thought my attraction to her at twenty-one was intense, it’s a blip on the radar compared to what I’m feeling now. It’s been two long months since I’ve last set eyes on Alyse. I’m trying to figure out how the hell I can see her again before my brother’s wedding when Conn drops a gift in my lap.
“You know she’s coming to Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday.”
No. No I did not.
I struggle with my last two reps, my shaking muscles protesting the heavy weight I’ve intentionally chosen. “Who?” I pretend to have no idea what he’s talking about, but at the inference that I’m finally going to set my starved eyes on Alyse again my dick twitches involuntarily and, noticing, Conn barks a laugh.
Conn racks his weights. Leaning against the mirrored wall, he gauges my every reaction. “I haven’t seen you act this way about a woman since…”
“Don’t,” I snap.
I let my weights drop to the floor and sit up, suddenly feeling too vulnerable with where this conversation is going. I don’t talk about Natalie. Ever. Conn knows this. I keep that young and foolish part of my life close to the forefront of my mind so I don’t make those same mistakes again. Since the woman I’d planned on marrying crushed my very heart underneath her five-inch cheating stilettos four years ago, I don’t let women into that exposed space, choosing to take Conn’s route of moving from one willing bed to the next.
So manwhore is a pretty apt title for me, too, as much as I’d like to argue otherwise.
But somehow I find myself thinking that if I ever would let a woman worm her way into that dark, broken space again, it would be Alyse Kingsley. Same as it was years ago, there’s just something about her innocence that inexplicably draws me to her like a moth to an open flame.
Innocence I want to corrupt.
Her innocence is about as compelling as her fire and tenacity and intelligence. Add to that the whole outer beauty with her insanely sexy and fit body and drop-dead-gorgeous face, and she really is the whole package. She’s grown into an incredible woman. I find myself wondering why someone hasn’t married her yet, but at the same time I’m glad they haven’t. Because I want her like I haven’t wanted another woman in a very, very long time. I have to wonder if I’ve ever wanted a woman as badly as I want Alyse.
As I’ve always wanted her.
I’ve known Alyse since my older brother, Gray, started dating her sister, Livia, over eight years ago. Even then I was irrationally attracted to her. I shouldn’t have been. She was seventeen, in high school. I was twenty-one, in college. She was jailbait, but that didn’t stop me from having a brief summer fling with her. I’ve had a lot of women over the years, too many, in fact, and I’ve pretty much forgotten all of them.
Except Alyse Kingsley.
She’s simply unforgettable, as is that Fourth of July where we almost made the biggest mistake of my young adult life. Being attracted to Alyse was one thing. Actually acting on it was something else entirely. Except we did. Had my twin not caught us in the boathouse at that moment, I don’t think anything would have stopped me from taking her that night. Right or wrong.